Congestion busting NorthConnex breaks through

Media release
13 Dec 2017
Prime Minister, Premier of New South Wales, Minister for Urban Infrastructure, NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure
Infrastructure and Industry

Congestion relief for motorists in Sydney’s North West and Central Coast is one step closer, with the first tunnel breakthrough for the NorthConnex project marking another major project milestone.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the project was on track to shift 5,000 trucks off Pennant Hills Road and return local roads to local communities.

“NorthConnex is the missing link between the M1 and M2 motorways and will save motorists up to 15 minutes travel time on each journey as they bypass 21 sets of traffic lights underneath Pennant Hills Road,” Mr Turnbull said.

“Getting 5,000 trucks off Pennant Hills Road each day will not only benefit the local community, it will also boost the state and national economies by providing more reliable journeys and shorter travel times for freight operators.”

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said; “The project is set to open in 2019, and in just 18 months workers have carved out 14 of 21 kilometres of rock beneath northern Sydney, and completed almost 64 per cent of mainline tunnelling.”

Federal Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher said the project would have huge benefits for local motorists.

“Anyone who drives along Pennant Hills Road can tell you this road link is long overdue, and is critical to getting trucks off local roads,” Mr Fletcher said.

NSW Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance said 20 roadheaders are working 24 hours a day to make sure the project delivers for commuters.

“With tunnelling progressing at around 350 metres per week, we are on track to deliver congestion relief for the thousands of motorists currently stuck in traffic on Pennant Hills Road,” Mr Constance said.

The next stage of work includes the tunnel fit out which begins next year.

The completed NorthConnex project will include twin nine-kilometre tunnels under Pennant Hills Road, allowing motorists to travel between Newcastle and Melbourne without a single set of traffic lights.

NorthConnex is another great example of the way the Turnbull and Berejiklian governments are working together to deliver vital infrastructure projects, with each Government committing $412 million towards the $3 billion project.

NorthConnex Tunnel Fast Facts

  • About 14,000 metres of horizontal tunnelling completed as at 24 November 2017
  • A total of 20 roadheaders are on site
  • Two surface miners on site
  • Around 1,500,000 cubic metres of spoil will be excavated across all sites and environmentally reused
  • The average daily peak workforce is up to 1,500 workers on site
  • At building peak in 2018 there will be about 1800 to 2,000 workers on site daily
  • It is estimated 15,000 people will be inducted in total on the project
  • More than 150,000 cubic metres of shotcrete and concrete have been poured
  • The project is on track to achieve 100 per cent of spoil to be beneficially reused
  • The roadheaders advanced through the ground at a speed of about 350 metres per week
  • In total, the project will have eight significant breakthroughs between tunnelling compounds and on/off ramps